The House Of The Devil

Viewed – 21 February 2011  Online rental

I’ve made no secret of my almost obsessive love of the horror genre.  For me there is little that compares to the atmosphere, the thrills and the pure adrenaline of a good horror movie, and some of the best movies ever made in my opinion, have come from that genre.  So naturally this throwback to late seventies / early eighties chillers came as an easy proposition for me.

Newcomer Jocelin Donahue plays struggling student Samantha, who applies for a job as a babysitter to an ageing couple at a house in the middle of the countryside (!).  Now despite the concerns of her best friend after the couple turn out to be more than a little strange, Samantha accepts the job, spending an eventful evening at the creepy house.

Directed by relative newcomer Ti West, this shockingly authentic retread of early eighties horror borrows heavily from the likes of The Exorcist, Suspiria, Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen.  Tension is gradually built up, helped by an eerie score and superbly shot camera work that makes every shadow and corridor unnerving, and when the shocks come, this viewer was left really shaken.  Ti West’s movie may offer little new to the genre, but he certainly knows how to make an effective and gripping experience, that thankfully delivers when it needs to and holds back long enough to make you a nervous wreck.   It may feel rushed at the end, with some confusing moments and a little too much build up, but these are small gripes for what is otherwise an impressive ‘celebration’ of a genre back when it really had some balls.

Verdict:  4 /5

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